Whiplash was an amazing film which combined the beauty of music with terrible abuse. La La Land, the next film by Damien Chazelle, looks to have plenty of music, but appears to lighten up on the abuse. While the tone doesn't feel quite so bright and cheery as your average Hollywood musical, there's an undeniable magic in the first trailer. Check it out now.
While La La Land certainly has many of the trappings of your standard musical, at the same time it also looks very different based on this trailer. Those massive song and dance numbers are clearly there, however, the overall tone of the trailer is peaceful and somber. The song heard in the background called "City of Stars" is sung by Ryan Gosling, and does a pretty good job of setting up the movie. In the film, Emma Stone is an aspiring actress and Gosling is a dedicated jazz musician. The film revolves around them falling in love, but it's also about the difficulties that they have staying there. The song's lyrics don't know whether love will last, and we won't know either until the movie comes out.
What's most interesting about this trailer is the juxtaposition between the musical aspects of the film and it's more "realistic" setting. Most of the time in musicals, everything from the costumes to the sets has a fantastical look to them. In fact, this is part of what allows you to suspend disbelief to the point where it's acceptable that people randomly break into song. In the trailer we see four women dancing down the street in their bright, colorful, nearly identical dresses, a moment that wouldn't be out of place in a Rogers and Hammerstein play, but they look completely out of their element on a modern Los Angeles street. Other moments include Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone floating into the projection of a planetarium to dance among the stars, as well as them coming out of a tunnel, into a world that is obviously painted on the wall.
The look and feel of La La Land promises to make it a unique movie, and the studio obviously has high hopes for the film. Originally, La La Land was set to release this Friday, but earlier this year the movie was pushed back into December to make it a stronger candidate come awards season. The trailer certainly makes us curious, so much so that we wish the movie was still coming out this weekend so we didn't have to wait.